USUALLY it’s all about looking back and etching one individual’s name in to a club’s history, but this time it was very different.
The Supporter’s Player of the Year award on Saturday night was not a reflection on the past, as much as a plea for the future: ‘get us our man!’
And if football fans could kidnap a loanee and stick a ransom on his head to ensure he stayed, there’d be none in the Football League as highly-priced as Jimmy Bullard.
He only played 16 games since Paul Jewell borrowed him from Hull City, but the midfielder with such a madcap personality he has never had a room-mate, has rejuvenated his career at Ipswich after extended injury spells.
And we all desperately hope he stays.
For as much as Bullard has lifted this team with his talents, the award to a loanee only playing since February says as much about the rest of the team as the impact of Soccer AM’s dream guest.
My vote went to Gareth McAuley as consistently the best of our own poor bunch, with the Northern Irish defender (a right-back for his country that oddly never got a go in our crisis position) looking set to be the fallout from Evans and Clegg’s pointless contracts gamble.
But my thoughts for next season would centre on signing Bullard up and building a midfield around him, as well as bringing in an experienced striker in the Kevin Phillips mould to play alongside Wickham (if he stays) and teach him everything he knows.
After I asked Paul Jewell about whether the fans can expect to see Bullard next season, his reply was muted, saying he’d like to sign him, he’d like to sign Messi. The club will not want to draw attention to their number one summer target, but the secret is already out. So let’s show Bullard some love with effusive praise and see where it gets us (flattery will get you anywhere?...)
The last 10 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win over relegated Preston North End, summed up the deficiencies of the poor home campaign: we ended the match with NO strikers on the pitch and a relegated side putting us under extended pressure just to hold on to a slender one-goal lead. There was ironic cheering for the introduction, and subsequent every touch, of Jaime Peters and two Ipswich sides across two halves (the first the better bunch).
It’s the battle for 11th place at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday with Sven’s men.
The season can’t really end quickly enough for me, but there will still be a loyal band of Town fans in the Midlands come 3pm, all praying for one thing: that they haven’t seen Bullard’s last game with a horse on his chest.